Detroit Tigers: What should the team do with Matthew Boyd in 2021?

(Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers need to strip Matthew Boyd of the ace role he has had before the 2021 season.

Remember when the Detroit Tigers could have traded Matthew Boyd for another organization’s top prospect? Boy, those were the days. As the 2021 season approaches, Boyd needs to be moved out of the ace role in the starting rotation.

Boyd from 2018, 2019, and then 2020 are all vastly different pitchers. He has not been the same pitcher he was when he was being shopped around as a Cy Young candidate to teams before a disastrous second half.

The Tigers 2021 projected depth chart still does have Boyd slated to be the ace, but he is not capable of doing that anymore. Boyd has “fallen off” a considerable amount, his 2020 stats are not ones anyone wants to remember.

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In 12 games Boyd would accumulate 60.1 innings pitched where he posted a 6.71 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He would also surrender league-leading 15 home runs and also league-leading 45 earned runs. To try and pull some positives, Boyd did strike out 60 opposing hitters.

The ERA north of six is quite concerning, even in a shortened 60-game season. The delayed start due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an excuse for a slow start or a “meh” year, but that showing is disastrous from a pitcher deemed the “ace” of the staff.

Even in its current state, the Tigers rotation is better than a rotation that leaves Boyd as the “ace” of this organization.

Boyd can be kept in the rotation, but they should explore moving Spencer Turnbull into that ace role to see how he performs.

As the Tigers head into 2021, Turnbull should move up in the rotation, and Boyd should be moved back. It’s a simple move that is more than justified. Boyd’s rough-looking statistics compared to Turnbull, who’s seemingly been improving and putting things together, lead me to believe Turnbull has every right to try to perform as the ace.

The only reconciliation hopes for Matthew Boyd to be the Detroit Tigers is Chris Fetter being hired to the coaching staff.

As the Detroit Tigers rounded out their coaching staff for the 2021 season, highly analytical pitching coach Chris Fetter will bring a youthful and new approach to the pitching staff. The Tigers pitching staff should benefit greatly from Fetter’s presence.

However, Boyd is a six-year veteran of the league and it may be a bit tougher to turn things around. But if there are hopes for Boyd to keep things going as the ace of this staff, some major changes are likely going to be needed to be made by Fetter as he works with him.

The bottom line for Boyd is that changes have to be made. When he started 2019 dominant, things were looking up for Boyd and the Tigers. The front office was thinking they could keep riding the success through the first half of the year into the trade deadline which was a fatal mistake.

As was mentioned above, Boyd fell off and the trade rumors that were all for such top prospects vanished into thin air. The Tigers missed their opportunity to deal with Boyd and now, keeping him as the ace of this staff is just ludicrous.

The newly hired manager, A.J. Hinch, might opt to switch things up in 2021 and try out someone besides Boyd as the number one pitcher in the rotation. Time will tell, but hopefully, Boyd is not trotting out there to lose game after game in 2021.

In all reality, the young players like Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal are going to carry the staff in the sooner than later future. Boyd’s time as a staple in this organization is going to come to an end.

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With a new coaching staff and a new season coming up, expect the Detroit Tigers to start making some changes.